Paine and Prejudice


You should strive to demonstrate your comprehension of and critical thinking about this lesson’s readings not only on an individual basis, but also as they intersect with one another. What trends can you identify that emerge in more than one of the readings? What elements of each text make it unique in comparison with the others? Finally, what does each text, individually and in relation with others, tell us about the particular historical moment from which it emerges? Assessment: Students will be assessed on the style, content, and grammatical and mechanical correctness of their Critical Connections and Essay assignment. The style should be direct yet fluid, using strong, active verbs, transitions, and strategic repetition of key concepts to promote readability. Content should demonstrate comprehension of and critical thinking about assigned texts, including possible implications and connections with other course texts. Mechanical and grammatical correctness will be assessed according to principles of standard academic English. Specifications Use 12 point Times New Roman font. Double-space the entire document, and insert 1 extra blank line between answers. Use the ‘view’ menu on your word processing software to open the header field of the document, and then insert a header consisting of your last name and the page number right-aligned in the header field. DO NOT simply type the page number! Instead, use the header toolbar button called “insert page #.” Close the header field, and in the body field of the document include a heading that contains your name, your instructor’s name, course information, and the date, each on a separate line and left-aligned at the top of the body field. Title the document with the lesson title (i.e. “Lesson 1,” “Lesson 2,” etc.) and center the title. DO NOT insert extra blank lines between the heading and the title or between the title and your first answer. Left align answers and clearly number each answer using the number from the question with which it corresponds. You do not need to retype the questions. Be sure to use MLA conventions for formatting quotations and citing sources. Answer each question fully, using examples from the text(s) where appropriate and explaining the relevance of each example to the question at hand. Answers should be a minimum of one well-developed paragraph but no more than 1 page in length. Questions Question 1 – By the time Thomas Paine wrote his history-making Common Sense, Puritan influence was waning both socially and politically. The American Age of Reason gave rise to eclectic personalities like Benjamin Franklin and charismatic leaders like George Washington. This does not mean, however, that the rhetorical*** use of religion was abandoned, as Paine’s text demonstrates. With this in mind, compare and contrast Paine’s usage of religion in Common Sense with Mather’s and Rowlandson’s in their texts respectively. Question 2 – As David C. Hoffman notes in “Paine and Prejudice: Rhetorical Leadership through Perceptual Framing in Common Sense,” Paine was a master of rhetoric, using words very effectively to direct his readers’ emotional reception of his arguments. With this in mind, discuss the rhetorical weight and implications of the title Common Sense. In other words, what might its impact on Paine’s intended audience be? How does it help (or hinder) his purposes? Question 3 – The Puritans were known for preferring a direct and unvarnished writing style when compared to more traditional European styles. How does this relate to the writing style Paine uses in Common Sense? What might some of the consequences of such a style be not only for American writing styles in the future but for the sociopolitical purposes of Paine’s text in his own time? Question 4 – In Common Sense, Paine elaborates on very specific relationships between moral and spiritual values, specifically in relationship to the English monarchy and its subjects. Discuss his representation of these relationships and the role that representation plays in his sociopolitical purposes. ***rhetoric – used for persuasive effect; of or relating to the art of persuasion


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